Girl (9) suffers 'very serious' head injuries in incident at family home
A nine-year-old girl was being treated in hospital last night after suffering serious head injuries in an incident at her home in north Dublin.
A major investigation was launched into the "extremely sensitive case" which is being led by Balbriggan gardaí.
Officers were called to the apartment in Sandy Road, Rush, at 10.20pm on Tuesday and carried out a full forensic examination yesterday as the girl was being treated for "very serious injuries".
Gardaí are investigating a number of possible causes of the injuries including a potential assault or a fall.
Emergency services rushed to the property after the girl was found in the bathroom by a family member.
She was transferred to Temple Street Hospital and gardaí were notified about the incident by ambulance personnel.
The Irish Independent understands that the girl may have suffered other injuries apart from head injuries.
There have been no arrests and the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the case is expected to be lengthy.
The girl's father accompanied her in the ambulance following the traumatic incident.
Neighbours of the family told the Irish Independent that they knew something serious had happened when the emergency services arrived in the seaside town.
Two uniformed gardaí stood outside the apartment for a number of hours yesterday, while forensic officers assessed the interior of the property.
One neighbour said he witnessed the girl being carried out on a stretcher.
"It was such a sad and worrying sight when I saw the paramedics take her out of the apartment," he said.
"It was very hard to see what was going on with all the commotion, but I did recognise the girl's father walking into the ambulance with her.
"I have no idea what happened, but I just pray she makes a full recovery."
According to the neighbour, the couple who live in the apartment have two young children - the hospitalised girl and a younger son.
"Although I don't know the mother, the father is a lovely, hard-working man," he said.
"They have been living there for more than 10 years and are just like anyone else that lives around here."
An elderly resident said she had to hold back tears when she found out a local child had been taken to hospital.
"The moment I heard that an incident had happened at their home, I immediately thought of the children," she said.
"It was just such a shock when I discovered that it was the little girl who was injured. I'm praying that she isn't too badly hurt."
A Garda spokesman confirmed officers were called to the apartment, adding: "A child is currently receiving medical treatment in Temple Street Children's Hospital."